Dubai International Film Festival [DIFF] Supported by TEN Movies
Home: Dubai Film Festival 2008: Festival Program
DIFF Gala Screenings

A selection of outstanding films that the festival wishes to honored will be given a special evening gala screening at the festival's main venue, the Madinat Jumeirah (The Arabian Resort). Gala Films for the Dubai International Film Festival 2008 include W (11th), Australia (12th), Whatever Lola Wants (11th), Aids Jaago (12th), The Edge of Heaven (13th), and The Darjeeling Limited (14th). The DIFF Red Carpet has hosted the world’s brightest stars and best talent with celebrities from East and West which begins at 7pm, while the Gala screenings begin at 8pm (note: children under the age of 16 will not be admitted).

DIFF Film Programs

The 2008 edition of the Dubai International Film Festival features 12 programmes that will showcase cinema of all genres from all over the world.

The Cultural Bridge
The Cultural Bridge programme is one of the most important sections of DIFF. The new millennium has seen a significant increase in conflict and misunderstanding between the Islamic and broader Western worlds. The Cultural Bridge section features a selection of features and documentaries from around the world, telling stories or describing events that serve to break down the walls of inter-racial prejudice and intolerance, thereby helping stimulate dialogue and building cross-cultural bridges. To this end, the programme will be complemented by a high-profile panel discussion exploring cinema’s role in building these bridges and exploring the festival’s motto and overall ambition of: ‘Bridging Cultures. Meeting Minds’.

Arabian Nights
The Arabian Nights programme is an out of competition section showcasing a collection of features, short films and documentaries. The selection of feature films by the world’s best Arab and Non-Arab filmmakers is testimony to the talent and creativity within contemporary Arab cinema.

A Celebration of Indian Cinema
A Celebration of Indian Cinema is a new focus within the international programme and is designed to reflect the strong links between Dubai and India, a country which has a long tradition of popular and great cinema. The section will not only feature the latest attractions from one of the world’s most prolific producers of entertainment and will also showcase a broad range of the finest works from the independent cinema movement within India.

Cinema of the World
The Cinema of the World programme will feature a selection of the most important and original new films from North and South America, Australasia and Europe.
Gala Screening -

The Cinema of AsiaAfrica
The Cinema of AsiaAfrica section will offer a broad spectrum of important and recent films emerging from both Asia and Africa. Also includes extremely rich, diverse and challenging films. This section will include countries from Afghanistan, Angola. Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Burkina Fasp, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, People’s Republic of China, Republic of China (Taiwan), Congo - Kinshasa, Democratic Republic Congo (Zaire), Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhtan, Kenya, North Korea, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Macau, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philipines, Reunion, Rwanada, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tibet, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia, Zanzibar, Zimbabwe.

Gulf Voices
The Gulf Voices programme, an expansion on the original Emirati Voices, is an important component of DIFF as it features out of competition Arab cinema by GCC filmmakers. This segment allows for the diversity of films from the GCC to be screened and viewed by all movie goers. The films are selected from the growing talent pool of emerging young GCC national filmmakers who are most deserving of a unique platform to showcase their talents.

Children’s Cinema
The Children’s Cinema section presents a selection of films appealing to children of all nationalities. Going beyond Hollywood, the selected works are from around the world and representative of different cultural backgrounds, but share a common factor in their universal appeal of entertaining children.

This section will present feature length animation films from around the world showcasing a variety of animation.

In Focus
Recognising thecontinuing global importance of world cinema.

Screen on the Green
Crowd-pleasing movies from the Festival’s out-of-competition programme, screened under the stars.

Rhythm and Reel

This event continues from last year in order to celebrate music in film, both on screen and live on stage, featuring musical films and complementary live concerts.

Slingshot Hip Hop (2008)
12th December - 8pm DMC Amphtheatre, Dubai Media City
That there is a thriving hip hop scene in Palestinian will come as a surprise to many. But after watching this superb documentary by first-time director Jackie Reem Salloum, any doubts as to the impact of crews such as DAM or Palestinian Rapperz upon the youngsters of the West Bank and Gaza territories will be totally eradicated. Combining performance footage with interviews with the musicians and their fans, Salloum's film presents a compelling look at the burgeoning subculture, and the ways in which rappers offer hope and inspiration to Palestinian youngsters.

Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens (Nosferatu, A Symphony of Horror) (1922)
13th December - 8pm DMC Amphtheatre, Dubai Media City
Eerie characters, sinister skewed scenery and flickering silent horror - the German Expressionist art movement fused beautifully with the country's nascent cinema industry in the early 1920s, in FW Murnau's masterpiece. Based on the classic 'Dracula' story, 'Nosferatu' is a tale of the bloodthirsty Count Orlok who exists menacingly in a castle high up in the remote Carpathian mountains. Craving fresh corpuscles, he invites a real estate agent, Hutter to visit him, on the pretext of wanting to sell a house. Once Hutter has left his winsome wife Ellen under the care of his friend Harding, he sets off to meet the sinister Orlok. But upon meeting his crepuscular client, Hutter is plunged deep into a world of terror and madness.

Young at Heart (2007)
14th December - 8pm DMC Amphtheatre, Dubai Media City
If the prospect of a sprightly nonagenarian belting out Clash covers appeals to you, you're in luck with 'Young@Heart'. A charming and engaging film, this is a documentary about a group of pensioners of varying vintage living in Massachusettes, who enjoy great success adapting rock songs for ensemble performance. Avoiding patronising or sentimentalising his subjects, director Stephen Walker here documents the group's lengthy rehearsals, ahead of a European tour. While the participants are as spirited and determined as any band getting ready for a spell on 'the road', the extreme age of some members causes ongoing concern amongst organisers. Yet for all these moments of tension and occasionally very real grief and sadness, there are countless moments of pure joy and delight as the troupe revel in their vitality and undimmed love of life. (The performance of The Ramones' 'I Wanna Be Sedated' is a particular highlight).

Cadillac Records (2008)
15th December - 8pm DMC Amphtheatre, Dubai Media City
From humble beginnings that saw founders Leonard and Philip Chess selling records from their car around Chicago, Chess quickly grew into one of the most dynamic and exciting labels in the USA, with artists including Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Etta James cutting the classic sides that shaped the course of rock history. 'Cadillac Records' tells the rise of the label with a glittering cast, including Beyonce Knowles as Etta James, Adrien Brody as Leonard Chess, Mos Def as Chuck Berry and Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters. Vividly evoking the raw, gritty atmosphere of 1950s Chicago, along with some blistering blues and soul soundtrack, this is a film that will thrill and entertain.

U2 3D (2008)
17th December - 7pm and 9pm IMAX Grand Ibn Batutta
While it may not be even better than the real thing, 'U2 3D' is the ultimate concert experience - a state-of-the art, 5.1 surround-sound stereo 3-D film that fully recreates the passion, drama and excitement of a U2 concert, with unprecedentedly breathtaking visuals. Bono and the boys leap, lunge and loom large, during a series of gigs filmed in South America during the 2006 'Vertigo' tour. And during the 11-song set, the band are on blazing form, tearing through new gems and old classics, including a show-stopping rendition of 'Sunday, Bloody Sunday'. The effect is spectacular - thanks to directors Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington deploying their arsenal of technology with restraint and assurance. Without overwhelming the audience with trickery, the focus remains firmly on the band, bringing the world's biggest rock band to Dubai in a ground-breaking and thrilling new way.

Lifetime Acheivement Awards Films

DIFF 2008 will honour French-Algerian filmmaker Rachid Bouchareb, Chinese action director Tsui Hark, and American-British fantasy master Terry Gilliam with Lifetime Acheivement Awards, while their films will also be shown during the festival. All of them have pushed the boundaries of cinema and made it immeasurably richer, not just in their home markets but internationally as well. From the stories they tell to the techniques they employ, they epitomize the spirit we feel is embodied in the DIFF Salutes Awards concept.

Brazil [1985] - Terry Gilliam
Cheb [1991] - Rachid Bouchareb
Dao (The Blade) [1995] - Tsui Hark
Little Senegal [2001] - Rachid Bouchareb
Shang Hai Zhi Yen (Shanghai Blues) [1984] - Tsui Hark
Twelve Monkeys [1995] - Terry Gilliam

© 2008 The Emirates Network [TEN]. All Rights Reserved.